MLS Moves: Castillo deal to Turkey finally finalized

A week-long saga – or soap opera, if you will – concluded Thursday upon confirmation that FC Dallas had indeed transferred winger Fabian Castillo to Turkish club Trabzonspor.

Officially, the deal is a loan until the end of the year with an option to purchase. According to, Trabzonspor will pay $3 million for the loan portion of the transaction and another $ 1 million to $1.5 million when the purchase option is exercised. MLS balked at the original terms, which split a $4 million transfer fee into two equal payments, and after a few days Trabzonspor agreed to pay more money up front.

The transfer ends a stay of more than five years for Castillo in MLS, which purchased his rights from Deportivo Cali in March, 2011, when the Colombian was 18. After a few seasons of sporadic brilliance mixed with forgettable intervals, he rang up 10 goals and notched four assists in 27 games during the 2014 season, then earned his first All-Star selection last year while scoring nine goals and contributing nine assists as FC Dallas won the Western Conference regular-season title.

In 22 games (20 starts) this season, Castillo tallied five goals and five assists, which ups his lifetime MLS numbers to 159 games (139 starts), 34 goals, and 30 assists. He also scored one goal in eight playoff appearances. 

“We want to thank Fabian for his time with FC Dallas, and his contributions during the last five years,” said FC Dallas team president Dan Hunt in a statement. “It’s been our pleasure to watch Fabian grow from the teenager we all first met in 2011 to the exciting player he is today. We wish him all the best in Turkey.”

FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo has confirmed reports that Castillo traveled to Turkey, where excited fans carried him on their shoulders through the airport terminal, without permission"I think that it will be an ongoing issue with FIFA, but it will not be solved right away," Clavijo said. "Of course we have all the things to win it, but it would be a distraction for the club, and we want no distractions."

Trabzon is a coastal city (population 240,000) on the Black Sea in northeastern Turkey. Trabzonspor has won six league titles since its founding in 1967, and last captured the Super Lig crown in 1984.

MLS Players on the move abroad (2016 mid-season):
Sam Adekugbe (Vancouver), loan --> Brighton & Hove Albion (ENG D2)
Dairon Asprilla (Portland), loan  --> Millonarios (COL)
Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas), loan --> Trabzonspor (TUR)
Fabian Espindola (Vancouver), transfer --> Necaxa (MEX)
Gilberto (Chicago), mutually terminated contract --> Sao Paulo (BRA)
Adam Kwarasey (Portland), transfer--> Rosenborg (NOR)
Emil Larsen (Columbus), transfer --> Lyngby (DEN)
Leonel Miranda (Houston), loan expired --> Defensa y Justicia (ARG)
Vincent Nogueira (Philadelphia), mutually terminated contract --> Strasbourg (FRA D2)
Damien Perquis (Toronto FC), mutually terminated contract --> Nott. Forest (ENG D2)
Octavio Rivero (Vancouver), transfer --> Colo-Colo (CHI)
David Rocha (Houston), mutually terminated contract --> Real Oviedo (ESP D2)
Bryan Rochez (Orlando City), loan --> Real Espana/HON)
Daniel Salloi (Sporting KC), loan  --> Vasas (HUN)
Adrian Winter (Orlando City), mutually terminated contract --> FC Zurich (SUI)
Alex Zendejas (FC Dallas), transfer  --> Guadalajara (MEX)

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